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Re: Knowing the Owner Won't Follow Recommendations

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By sending a letter and communicating your concerns, you are not turning a blind eye.  You have executed your duty in regards to safety and have alerted the responsible persons of a danger assessed by your professional expertise.  If they choose to ignore your recommendations, it is their responsibility.
Send a copy to any involved 3rd party.  In some states/areas, it might even be advisable to send a copy to an appropriate union or labor group, but that is VERY local politics and a hard call to make.

If you were to provide or execute a design or procedure you felt was unsound, despite it being requested by the client, then you would be open to various liabilities because it is still your duty as the design professional to act within the bounds of your professional judgement.

Working with industry is nice in some ways because they're not as fixated on "letter of the code" details as some municipalities (or inspectors) are, allowing you more leeway as long as you're technically sound.  On the other hand, you're at more exposure for exactly the same reason.....and you tend to
always feel that there is someone else out there who will do X and Y for less money or provide cheaper but less safe designs.  You have to stick to your guns.

Bart Kemper, P.E.

Ed Fasula wrote:

We have a case where we know the owner will not follow our recommendation if we say NOT to place a large vertical steel tank on an existing pad originally designed for a smaller tank.  They already have done so with one tank (without our prior review).

> What recourse do we have other than writing a letter?  They only want us to write the letter to keep us happy that _we're_ covered anyway.  We wouldn't get paid for a careful analysis to assess the dangers.  It seems that a letter saying don't do it and then turning a blind eye is ethically questionable.
> Ed Fasula EIT

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